Cricket: Fraser aiming for top
Sunday 29 June 1997
A day of incessant rain put paid to any prospect of play here, further frustrating Middlesex's attempt to build on their Championship lead. Only 41 overs have been possible so far, with three days now having been washed out completely.
Even within their own dressing-room, Middlesex's success so far has been unexpected. Having lost seven senior players in five years, they finished ninth in last season's Britannic Assurance table and those who remained were anticipating another summer of quiet transition, the seasoned England bowler Angus Fraser among them.
"I didn't think we would be in the bottom six but neither did I expect us to be in the top six," Fraser said. "So our success so far has been a pleasant surprise.
"The main thing is that we have bowled well. Both myself and Don Bennett have tried to drill into the younger lads the importance of bowling in the right areas and we have been pleased with the response.
"Jamie Hewitt in particular has come on. He has a nice high action and he swings the ball. He does not always get it right but he is only 21 and in a year or so he will be more consistent. He looks a good prospect." Hewitt leads the way among the bowlers with 34 Championship wickets.
Another bonus, meanwhile, has been the smooth handing over of the captaincy from Mike Gatting to Mark Ramprakash, who has slipped into the role as if born to it - winning three of his first four games - and with not a ripple of disturbance to a superb season with the bat that has so far yielded approaching 800 first-class runs.
"Ramps could develop into a very good captain," Fraser said. "He has matured in the last few years and takes the responsibility very seriously. He is thoughtful, considerate and not afraid to make hard decisions. I like the fact that he tries to appreciate the bowler's point of view, which cannot be said of every batsman who becomes a captain.
"And he seems to be one of those batsmen, like Mike Atherton and Graham Gooch, who thrive on the responsibility. He is the one who is expected to perform for us and he hasn't disappointed at all. I've not seen him looking better."
Latest in Sport
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...
World Cup 2014: Neymar's agent launches scathing attack on Brazil's Luis Felipe Scolari, labelling him 'an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous'
Loic Remy to Arsenal? Gunners close in on move for QPR and France striker - reports
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
£21000 - £31000 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The JobWe are looking ...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The Job...Due to continued ...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Supply TeachersWould you l...
£50 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are urgently looking for...